First Fives

First Fives

What is First Fives?

First Fives is a allows children to be Five First. First Fives, sometimes called Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is a bridge between preschool and kindergarten. This year to be ‘five’ allows them to experience school in the most heartfelt developmentally appropriate way. It gives young learners a head start and provides them with an opportunity to learn and grow in an environment that meets their academic or social needs.

  • It helps children adjust to the school environment and develop strong learning skills.
  • First Fives provides children with the gift of time to learn skills that will help them build a strong foundation for success in elementary school.
  • First Fives gives children the opportunity to spend time learning important social, emotional, and academic skills that will help them succeed in kindergarten and beyond.
  • First Fives provides young 5 year olds with an opportunity to start their kindergarten experience with children their own age and a teacher who can tailor lessons to their needs.

First Fives is a program designed for our younger students to provide opportunities for guided growth before experiencing kindergarten or 1st grade.


Is First Fives Right For My Child?

First Fives is designed for children who:

  • Are eligible to attend kindergarten, having turned five on or before September 1st of the school year;
  • Are developmentally young;
  • Will benefit from classroom instruction designed with more frequent movement, reduced length of instructional periods, increased use of manipulative and motor activities and a focus on to social and emotional development.

The Ferndale Schools Kindergarten curriculum serves as the basis for the First Fives program with instruction provided in all core content areas. Pre-reading, writing, speaking and listening skills are emphasized as are mathematics skills.

Some common questions are listed in our First Fives FAQ.

Benefits of First Fives

For Your Child

  • Opportunity to learn through play
  • Experience with other children to help develop strong social emotional skills and positive self -esteem
  • Exposure to educational materials to help develop strong literacy skills
  • Small class sizes for greater student teacher interactions
  • Full day program to acclimate to a kindergarten schedule
  • Participation in individual, small -group, and large -group activities
  • Professional educators with experience in early childhood development

For Parents

  • Early connection with your child’s school
  • Opportunity to take a more active role in your child’s formal education
  • Knowledge that your child is getting the benefits of professional educators as part of the early learning team.

Your child will experience a rich learning environment through the First Fives program at Ferndale Lower Elementary School.


What Your Child Will Learn


  • Identify shapes (2D & 3D)
  • Identify position of objects (beside, next to, above)
  • Count to 50 by 1’s
  • Recognize and write numbers 1-10
  • Demonstrate 1:1 correspondence
  • Identify and create patterns
  • Experiment with measurement
  • Sort by attributes
  • Understand More/Less Concepts

Motor Skills

  • Strengthen hand muscles through cutting, coloring, drawing, and painting
  • Develop hand-eye coordination
  • Print first name with a capital letter at the beginning, followed by lower case letter(s)
  • Show control in jumping, hopping, catching, running, and balancing.
  • Grip writing utensils correctly

Literacy Skills

  • Express ideas and feelings
  • Share and listen for information
  • Answer questions about stories
  • Hear Rhymes
  • Identify uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Identify letter sounds
  • Recognize first name in print
  • Express self in dramatic play
  • Show interest in writing
  • Write using pictures and symbols
  • Develop vocabulary
  • Develop concepts of print

Teacher Qualifications

All teachers are certified and highly qualified for the subject or class instructed.  The First 5s teacher will instruct both the morning and afternoon sessions. Our First Fives teacher has a strong background in early childhood and elementary education.


There is no fee for participating in either the full- or half-day First 5s program.


First 5s classes follow the Ferndale Schools’ district calendar with students attending school five days a week.

Bell Schedule

The students’ day begins at the same time as all other students in the building. Half-day students are dismissed prior to the start of the student lunch hour. Full-day students are dismissed with all students in the school at the end of the school day.  


Full-day First 5 students are eligible to ride a school bus to and from school where district transportation is available. Half-day students may ride the bus to school only (where district transportation is available) and parents are responsible to pick their child up each day prior to the start of the lunch hour.


Students enrolled in the full-day First 5s program are eligible to eat lunch at school. Just as all students, they may bring their lunch or purchase a hot lunch. If eligible, full-day students may participate in the free and/or reduced lunch program. Half-day students are dismissed prior to the start of the lunch hour and do not each lunch at school.

School Age Child Care

Ferndale Public Schools offers a fee-based before- and/or after- school program. Full-day First 5s students are welcome to participate in both before- and after-school programs. Half-day students may participate in the before-school program only.